Healthcare waste and categories

Referred to also as “clinical waste”, healthcare waste account for the total organic and inorganic residues of the clinical activity. According to the applicable legislation [1], this waste is assigned to 18 01 code name, which totals the waste code of hazardous nature, defined by the H9 feature (assigned to infectious waste), defined as substances containing viable microorganisms or their toxins, known as the cause of disease in human or other living organisms, as per Law no. 211/2011 on the waste regime. This waste is divided in two large categories – non-hazardous waste, about which you may read here (insert hyperlink to the article on non-hazardous waste) and hazardous waste. We will address the latter at length in the next page.

What is hazardous waste?

The Law [2] provides a clear definition of the types of hazardous medical waste.

Waste that pricks-cuts like needles, needles with thread, catheters, syringes with needles, perfusions, scalpel blades, pipettes, laboratory glassware or other broken or whole disposable, not used or expired glassware, which came into contact with a potentially infectious material (including vaccine holders);

Anatomic-pathological waste, consisting in body or human organ fragments, anatomical parts, bodily fluids, biopsy materials resulting from surgeries, anatomical parts resulting from autopsy laboratories, blood vessels etc.

Infectious waste, namely waste that contains or came into contact with blood or other biological fluids, as well as with viruses, bacteria, parasites and/or toxins of the microorganisms, perfusion with tubes, vessels that contained blood or other biological fluids, surgical kits, gloves, probes and other disposable materials, applications, bandages and other contaminated materials, dialysis materials, plastic material bags for collecting urine, used laboratory materials, diapers from patients hospitalized in healthcare facilities specialized in infectious disease or in infectious disease sections of healthcare units, animal carcasses resulting from research and trial activities.

Acids, alkalis, halogenated solvents, other types of solvents, organic and inorganic chemical products, including residual products generated during a laboratory diagnosis process, locking or processing solutions, concentrates used in disinfection and cleaning, formaldehyde solutions, wax, medicines etc.

Cytotoxic and cytostatic medicines

Amalgam waste from dental treatments

Read about non-hazardous healthcare waste and the path of waste to neutralization

[1] as per the European Waste catalogue, transposed in national legislation through Government Decision no. 856 of 2002

[2] As per Order of the MoH no. 1226/2012, based on the classification set out by GD no. 856/2002